Have you ever done something extra to show your love for the Blessed Virgin Mary? Maybe something like making an effort to pray the Rosary every day, or wearing the Miraculous Medal or a scapular?
Perhaps you were also seeking Mary’s help in some area of your spiritual life?
Saint Faustina—who had a special devotion to Mary’s Immaculate Conception and sought Mary Immaculate’s help to grow in purity of heart—would make an extra effort to prepare well for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th.
Showing Extraordinary Devotion
For the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception in 1937, when she was a religious, she wrote in her Diary: “I prepared not only by means of the novena said in common by the whole community, but I also made a personal effort to salute (Mary) a thousand times each day, saying a thousand ‘Hail Marys’ for nine days in her praise” (Diary, 1413).
In fact, Sr. Faustina made this extraordinary novena at least three times in her life. “Nothing is too much when it comes to honoring the Immaculate Virgin,” she would say (Diary, 1413).
Why this particular devotion to Mary? One important reason was the saint’s earnest desire to love God with a pure heart.
Saint Faustina knew that the Immaculate Virgin is the one who always loved God with an undivided heart as the most pure of all creatures. She remained sinless—in her conception and in her journey of faith. These truths so impressed Saint Faustina that she knew she had to completely consecrate her life to the Immaculate Virgin in order to grow and become a pure religious.
Taught by Mary Immaculate
Seeking to imitate Mary’s pure, undivided heart was an important part of Saint Faustina’s spiritual life. On one occasion, the Mother of God taught Saint Faustina to follow her example by keeping the eyes of her heart fixed on the Cross even in moments of joy. She told Saint Faustina that the graces that God was granting her were not for her alone, but for other souls as well (See Diary, 561).
This mystical saint often used metaphors to describe her strong desire to love God through a life of purity. She often referred to herself, for example, as a pure lily, a pure crystal, or a chaste virgin. She would use these words as well to describe Our Lady, showing that she wanted to be pure in her love of God like Mary.
Saint Faustina also knew she had to go through Mary Immaculate because “if it were not for the Mother of God, all our efforts would be of little use” (Diary, 686). She understood that when we unite ourselves with Mary, we can do great things!